Kununurra – Bullita Campground (Judbarra/Gregory National Park)
You remember Augustus Charles Gregory, an Australian-born explorer, who pushed into the Tanimi Desert from the west, and who we last “met” at Lake Gregory. He led the North Australia Expedition that sailed from Moreton Bay in Queensland, and landed at the Victoria River October in 1985. They explored southwards 500kms to the Great Sandy Desert for 8 months, before returning overland to Brisbane via the Gulf of Carpentaria, arriving late in 1856. It was one of the longest overland rides in Australia exploration, opening up large amounts of land for settlement in northern Australia, and quashing for good the myth of the great inland sea. While he was known for treating Indigeneous people well, the same cannot be said for many of the settlers who followed him. He inscribed “July 2nd 1856” on a Boabab tree near the Victorial River, which we visited.
We drove south from just east of Timber Creek – in Gregory’s footsteps – and camped in the National Park that bears his name at the Bullita Homestead campground. It was only 50kms from the main road, but was delightfully remote after the cheek-by-jowl camping in Kununurra. We enjoyed the screeching of corellas in their 100s as they flocked to the water at sunset. After sunset, we could hear the plaintive howling of dingoes which is a fantastic sound.